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‘Pension replacement rate of 44-45% is negotiable,’ says Lee Jae-myung

‘Pension replacement rate of 44-45% is negotiable,’ says Lee Jae-myung

Posted May. 25, 2024 07:51,   

Updated May. 25, 2024 07:51


Lee Jae-myung, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, said on Friday, "The Democratic Party is clearly willing to compromise between 44% and 45%." The purpose is to accept the 44% claimed by the People Power Party in relation to the income replacement rate, which is the biggest issue in national pension reform.

Lee said this at the party’s Supreme Council meeting: "There is only a 1 percentage point difference between the 44% income replacement rate plan proposed by Rep. Yoo Kyung-jun of the People Power Party and the 45% plan advocated by the Democratic Party.” He suggested, “Let’s use any method to reach an agreement, whether President Yoon Suk Yeol and the Democratic Party leader meet, or President Yoon and the representatives of the ruling and opposition parties meet.” Continuing from the previous day, they pressured President Yoon with the pension reform card for the second day.

In response to Lee's proposal for a meeting, the President's Office conveyed to the Democratic Party its position that “agreement in the National Assembly comes first.” “Hong Cheol-ho, senior secretary to the president for political affairs, stated, ‘It is not appropriate for the president to talk with the ruling and opposition parties before the National Assembly discussion is concluded,’” said Chun Joon-ho, chief of staff to the Democratic Party leader, at a press conference at the National Assembly this afternoon. “The ruling and opposition parties should work together with the president. I proposed a meeting to sort out opinions, but unfortunately, this was rejected.” “Even though he showed his willingness to accept the People Power Party’s plan, the President’s Office dismissed it,” a Democratic Party official said. “President Yoon is proving that he has no will to reform pensions.”

The President’s Office responded, by saying, “It is a political offensive by the opposition party to shift responsibility to the President’s Office.” They emphasized that agreement and deliberation between the ruling and opposition parties should take priority over a meeting between President Yoon and Lee for pension reform. Internally, there is an uncomfortable atmosphere, sensing that Lee proposed a ‘pension meeting’ targeting President Yoon even before the ruling and opposition parties reached an agreement. A senior official in the Presidential Office asked, “Is it President Yoon’s fault that there was no progress between the ruling and opposition parties regarding pension reform in the National Assembly?”

Sung-Hwi Kang yolo@donga.com